CFP: Int’l J. Semiotics of L.

International Journal for the Semiotics of Law

The International Journal for the Semiotics of Law issues a call for papers for the special issue “Heritage, Law and Discourse: A Triadic Dimension in Protection, Regulation & Identity.” Send proposals to Anne WAGNER ( by late April 2020.

Guest Editors: Anne Wagner & Cheng Le

The past four decades has witnessed the remarkable extension of enthusiasm in cultural heritage or property from the perspective of international laws, or international legal framework as the multilevel legal instruments for safeguarding, protection and maintenance of cultural heritage, property, or rights. In our project, the identification of “Heritage” employs specific discourses, codes, transcending values, and images that conceal assumption about members of a people comprising a people within a nation. Heritage narrates constructions of belongings that become tethered to negotiations for power and resistance over time and throughout a people’s history leading to powerful discursive narratives. While such likeness may be preserved, conserved or even perpetuated, the idea of “Heritage” may be socially, politically, culturally, and historically contested to reveal competing pasts, presents, and futures, esp. with innovation in arts leading to new social norms and identities.

Besides, the visual decoding of heritage is evocative and ideologically representative with meanings that prescribe a story of Protection, Regulation and Identity, since these meanings are subject to multiple interpretations and reinterpretations related to Rights, among the integrity of heritage right and human rights, and the integrated framework of right in rem and right in personae. Yet, through semiotic accumulation, evolution and confrontation, there may be different interdisciplinary paths leading to different truths, to tensions (contestation and/or negotiation), and applications of significance. We should then investigate these transmitted values, discourses over time and space.

We should therefore investigate these transmitted values under various perspectives (amongst others but not limited):

– How to transmit Heritage and which values are being transmitted?

– How are the narratives created?

– Is there a social stratification in transmitting, preserving and conserving Heritage?

– What are the cognitive and symbolic aspects of Heritage through different temporal parameters? Is there a shift in cultural and/or collective meaning from one space to another?

– What are the sources?

– What is the relationship between law and “heritage” (tangible or intangible elements) in visual representations?

– What is the shared collective and/or cultural memory beyond this visual representation?

– How Heritage is connected to the preservation and conservation of a people’s memory?

– How Heritage is interpreted within legal settings or international legal framework from temporality and spatiality?

– What are the interactions between cultural heritage and human rights within the diversity and tolerance within socio-legal contexts?

Considering the complexity and diversity in the building of a common memory or discourse community through tangible and intangible cultural heritage, we would suggest our contributors interrogate the complex sign system of a particular country or region and their meanings attentive to a complex configuration of historical, social and cultural conditions that shift over time and space.

Keywords: Heritage, Sign System, Law, Discourse Narratives, Conservation, Preservation.

Please send your proposal to Anne WAGNER ( by late April 2020.

About the author

Research/Instruction Librarian, Hugh & Hazel Darling Law Library, Dale E. Fowler School of Law at Chapman University